A Soldier's Dream
Last night as I toasted
My wet feet and roasted
A small bit of beef by a similar blaze,
While nought but the wheezings,
The snorings, and sneezings
Of comrades grouping in Dreamland's haze
Disturbed the fine vision -
The picture Elysian -
That Fancy's weird wand conjured up to my thought,
As she stood like a spooke,
In a garb of blue smoke,
And amid the hot embers her wonders she wrought.
Adown a highway
We were marching so gay
An army with banners bedecked o'er and o'er
With the brightest garlands
Wove by fairest of hands,
While a flaming bouquet stuck in each musket bore.
Each triumphal arch
It met on the march
Was blazoned with 'Peace'; 'Welcome home each loved one';
While maid, wife, and mother
Would with rapture discover
And rush out to meet lover, husband, and son!
I forgot all my sore toes -
Nay, all of my woes -
As I sprang to the threshold and clasped her dear waist;
And every campaign
I'd gone over again
To get from those ripe lips another such taste.
But as I flew to her
I dropped my fine skewer,
And with it my supper. I mastered my grief
As the vanishing vision
of joy's Elysian,
But I couldn't get over the loss of the beef!